On Wednesday, December 23, 2020, the Washington State Attorney General’s office issued a press release that Smoker’s Outlet Online, a Pennsylvania online tobacco retailer, would be forced to pay $65,885 for allegedly distributing tobacco products into Washington state. The payment by Smoker’s Outlet Online was a settlement to avoid a lawsuit from the Attorney General’s Office.

The press release states:  “Washington state law prohibits corporations from selling tobacco products by mail or internet to Washingtonians unless the buyer is a licensed retailer or wholesaler.”  This statement indicating a complete prohibition on the online sale of tobacco products may surprise more than one online retailer, illustrating the importance of retaining counsel to review state requirements when doing business in this highly regulated environment.